Mini-Review: The Sound of Gravel

Title: The Sound of Gravel

Author: Ruth Wariner

Publisher: Flatiron

Published: January 2016

Genre(s): religion, memoir

Synopsis (via goodreads.com): 

A riveting, deeply-affecting true story of one girl's coming-of-age in a polygamist cult.

Ruth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth's father--the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony--is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant...

Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable true story of a girl fighting for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.  

I don't know how to write a review of this book to give it the justice it deserves. I do have a goal to read more memoirs, and this one definitely raises the bar!


Review: The Twelve/ Lessons from Justin Cronin

Title: The Twelve
Author: Justin Cronin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: January 2012
Genre(s): horror, sci-fi, apocalyptic
Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  


At the end of The Passage, the great viral plague had left a small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. In the second volume of this epic trilogy, this same group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals: the first offensives of the Second Viral War.

To do this, they must infiltrate a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral—but whose side, in the end, is she really on?

Here I find myself yet again re-reading a long-ass book in order to FINALLY finish a trilogy that Justin Cronin took 4 years to complete (see my The Passage re-review). And once again, I feel more critical of the book after re-reading/ revisiting Cronin's world. And thusly, I feel like I've learned a few things, 7 things really, from re-reading a series in preparation for the next long-awaited addition to this, or any, series.

7 Things Justin Cronin Taught Me Whenst Re-Reading The Twelve


June 2016 Wrap-Up!

In my effort to teach "the kids" that you're never too old to learn/ make horrible, soul-crushing mistakes, I deleted my post that I was adding to each month from January to May. It wasn't really for anyone but me, and the reading challenge I was in, but it still hurts, you know? My life is a Sia album. [Possibly a tad dramatic, but I love her right now, and she helps me wallow...]

For my Reading Challenge I am reading "Backlist Books" that are a year or older at the time of my perusal. Here's the reading challenge:

And here's my pretty amazing reads THIS MONTH!!! 


Review: My Lady Jane

Title: My Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodie Ashton, Jodie Meadows

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: June 2016

Genre(s): YA, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, supernatural, humour

Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.
So... I loved this book. I didn't expect to, as Lady Jane's infamous nine-day reign as queen is not a happy-go-lucky tale. But that's only because boring, "fact" obsessed historians have written about her thus far; left to the imaginations of Cynthia Hand, Brodie Ashton and Jodie Meadows, we are able to read about Lady Jane in an alternate... England (?) wherein her tale is much more exciting, fantastical, and well-rounded.


The Absolutely True [Review] of a Part-Time Indian

Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: Sherman Alexie

Publisher: Anderson

Published: September 2007

Genre(s): YA, aboriginal, contemporary, humour

Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  

An all-new edition of the tragicomic smash hit which stormed the New York Times bestseller charts, now featuring an introduction from Markus Zusak.

In his first book for young adults, Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. This heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written tale, featuring poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, is based on the author's own experiences. It chronicles contemporary adolescence as seen through the eyes of one Native American boy.

Excellent in every way' Neil Gaiman

Illustrated in a contemporary cartoon style by Ellen Forney.

There was a point when reading this where I instantly went from thinking it was, "pretty good," to "HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET!?"